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Anger at 'arrogant' Shatter in garda row

Gardai have reacted with anger to "arrogant" comments by Justice Minister Alan Shatter in which he played down their no confidence motion in him as a "spat".

The row over planned cuts to garda pay and changes to working conditions escalated last night when the GRA's Central Executive passed the motion.

Last night, in an unusual move, Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan responded to the GRA declaration of no confidence in the minister by issuing a public statement where he stated that he is prepared to meet the association to address their concerns.

Insensitive

Minister Shatter said: "This is not the first time, and it won't be the last time, that we see something of this nature.

"We have, from time to time, down through the years seen rows between the associations representing members of An Garda Siochana and the Minister for Justice of the day.

"These spats occurred in good times and in bad times and both parties simply have to get on with their respective jobs."

A senior GRA source said: "That is typical of more arrogant and insensitive nonsense from that minister – gardai put their lives on the line and hear this guff. It is brutal.

"Some fellas have had their pay almost halved over the last few years."

The situation is so desperate that some gardai have set up a special Facebook site to vent their frustrations against the Minister and Commissioner in which it clearly emerges that many members are in favour of 'Blue Flu' industrial action.

Gardai will launch a phased campaign of industrial action from next Friday and it will be stepped up incrementally, if the Government ignores their position.

kfoy@herald.ie


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